The blueberry season is now in full swing. If you are anything like me, you go through a lot of blueberries during the year. One way to keep them fresh longer is by storing them properly. This post will help you store your blueberries for maximum freshness so that they last until next summer!
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How to tell if Blueberries are bad, rotten, or spoiled?
The best way to tell if blueberries are bad is by smell and appearance. After all, you can’t squeeze them like an orange! A ripe one will have a sweet aroma of fresh fruit. If the blueberry has no smell it has gone off or spoiled. Ripe ones should also look plump with firm skin that’s fully colored on top without any dents or bruises present. If they appear dull, lack coloration, are soft or mushy then they have probably gone off as well.
Freshly picked Blueberries last for about two weeks in your refrigerator at 42 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately six months when frozen).
What is the shelf life of blueberries?
- Blueberries picked from the bush can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Unrefrigerated, the berries can be kept for about 3 – 4 days.
- Frozen blueberries can be stored for up to 12 months.
How to Store Blueberries
If you are looking for ways to extend the shelf life of blueberries, here is what we recommend:
- Store them in your refrigerator. This will ensure that they last longer than if left out on your countertop at room temperature which can dry them out and make them go moldy very quickly.
- You should refrigerate fresh Blueberries immediately after purchase or picking from a garden/farm stand because this method only has a two-week window before it starts losing its optimal flavor and texture.
- The best way to store blueberry fruit is covered with plastic wrap while still inside their original container since exposure to air speeds up deterioration by making oxidation take place faster.
- One exception would be if you have purchased berries without any packaging wrapping – these should be kept in a closed container at all times to keep the insects away.
*Do not wash blueberries before storing them either! Water speeds up oxidation, resulting in mold and shriveling of their skin.*
Without many interruptions of the cold chain, berries will keep for at least a year at the best quality. Dry spots and discoloration are signs of incipient freezer burn. Taste and appearance may change. However, the fruit remains safe to eat.
Airtight sealed berries will keep for up to one year. Packages that have already been opened should be tightly resealed and stored in the refrigerator, especially at warmer temperatures and higher humidity. Here they will keep for another six to twelve months. To extend the shelf life even further, the dried blueberries can be frozen in the freezer. There they retain their flavor and freshness for up to 18 months.